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The Great Term Robbery


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Holmes, WN 2001 , 'The Great Term Robbery' , Computer, vol. 34, no. 5 , pp. 94-96 , doi: 10.1109/2.920619.

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This essay reviews the bad treatment the computing industry and profession give to ordinary English, their mauling of grammar, and their distortion of vocabulary. Attention is drawn to the old standard vocabulary put together by the profession and largely ignored by the profession at present, in particular by confusing the terms "data" and "information", terms that were used in the standard to allow a contrast to be made between people and machines, a contrast that is ethically and morally very significant.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Holmes, WN
Keywords: data, information, standard vocabulary, grammar, sort, sequence ethics, professionalism
Journal or Publication Title: Computer
ISSN: 0018-9162
DOI / ID Number: 10.1109/2.920619
Additional Information:

This essay has been more formally published as essay 1.3 in the author's book "Computers and People" (Wiley, 2006). This material is presented to ensure timely dissemination of scholarly and technical work. Copyright and all rights therein are retained by authors or by other copyright holders. All persons copying this information are expected to adhere to the terms and constraints invoked by each author's copyright. In most cases, these works may not be reposted without the explicit permission of the copyright holder.

Copyright 2001 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. However, permission to reprint/republish this material for advertising or promotional purposes or for creating new collective works for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or to reuse any copyrighted component of this work in other works must be obtained from the IEEE.

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